I was thinking the other day, how I see my thirties as a second chance at my twenties. I feel like I’m doing all the things I should’ve been doing ten years ago, but just didn’t get around to, because I didn’t know then what I know now. A part of me wishes I had finished college, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do until less than a year ago. Had I toiled through school and graduated, I probably wouldn’t have had the experiences I’ve had, or met the people I did, and I wouldn’t trade all that for a degree in something I wasn’t passionate about.
Not that I’m passionate about Medical Billing and Coding, but it’s a marketable skill for which I have the aptitude for, not to mention it’s a rung on a ladder, rather than a stepstool (i.e. not a dead end). What I like most about it is that it’s not customer service oriented. We don’t have to greet customers with some line of baloney the higher-ups cooked up (and don’t have to say, and probably never did, because they didn’t start out at the bottom, because they had a degree, etc.).
I waitress at a fifties-style Greek diner–a position where customer service is tantamount, but I also have the freedom to be myself. All we have to do is tell them what the specials are, and, at the end, ask if they would like any homemade (I always mention homemade) pie or cheesecake. I don’t have a script I have to follow. I tend to give terrible customer service (not intentionally) when I have to be unnatural–I come off as very tense, because not being able to be myself stresses me out.
When I worked at Walgreens, even if the same person came in everyday for a pack of cigarettes, we had to ask them every single time, “Would you care to buy or donate a candy bar to the U.S.O.?” The manager didn’t worry about cartons of cigarettes being stolen, but she worried about us not upselling fifty cent candy bars. Retail is rife with common nonsense.
This is why I’m going into a field that fits my introverted and no B.S. personality. What I will be doing is too important to fool with foolishness such as conversing with people from a script.
Seguing to my opening statement, I am doing, in my thirties, what most people did in their twenties–get married, have children, and getting a formal education. A part of me wishes, had I known then what I know now, that I had done that last thing first.
I feel like I am trying to squeeze in all the things I should’ve done ten years ago, especially when it comes to my writing. If nothing else, I should’ve gotten an English degree (I could’ve always went back to school, but at least I would’ve had something). My uncle once said my dad (his brother) is the only person he’s ever known who went to college to get an education (rather than career advancement). I am choosing to go back for both, though the more money thing is what tipped the scales towards going back, when for so long, I was convinced I wasn’t smart enough to finish college. Now I know I just need to apply myself. I can do this.